Canada Extending COVID-19 Benefits to October 23, 2021

A picture of COVID-19 virus to highlight the subject of Canada extending covid-19 benefits to October 23, 2021.

The government of Canada recently announced that it is extending COVID-19 benefits until October 23, 2021. What are the specific details of this announcement? See below.

Canada Extending COVID-19 Benefits – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) , Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and Lockdown Support

The Canadian government’s recent news release states that it will extend the eligibility period for these three programs up to October 23, 2021. It will also increase the rate of support that employers and organizations can receive during the period between August 29, 2021 to September 25, 2021. This will be a relief to many employers who are still trying to get their businesses up and running.

Canada Extending COVID-19 Benefits – Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) 

The same government news release above also stated that these three programs would be extended until October 23, 2021. Regarding the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the government is extending the maximum number weeks available by four weeks for a total of 54 weeks at a rate of $300.00 per week.

The government also ensures it that the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will be available to ones who have exhausted their Employment Insurance Benefits.

Conclusion

This announcement will come as a relief to many Canadians as there is still uncertainty in the economy due to the pandemic. Will all these benefits end after October 23, 2021? Only time will tell but as seen by this recent announcement, things are still not back to normal. Also, we see that COVID-19 is very resilient and no one knows how bad things could get with the variants. Because of this the government is taking a cautious approach and as we have seen with this announcement, it will adjust accordingly. As a result, these benefits could end or not. We will have to wait and see.

Other Articles about Government of Canada programs and assistance:

When Will New COVID-19 Recovery Benefits Start? (CRB, CRSB, CRCB)

Photo to highlight when will new covid-19 benefits start.

When will new COVID-19 recovery benefits start? The government announced this week that Canadians can start applying for two of the new recovery benefits as of October 5, 2020. The two new recovery benefits are the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). The third new recovery benefit, the Canada Recovery benefit will start as of October 12, 2020. These three benefits and the new EI benefits replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefits that Canadians were receiving due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Will New COVID-19 Recovery Benefits Start? A Quick Summary of New Benefits

Here’s a quick summary of the three new benefits from the government of Canada’s website below:

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who have stopped working and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

Conclusion

When will the new COVID-19 recovery benefits start? Both the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) start as of October 5, 2020. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will start as of October 12, 2020. Hopefully these new benefits will provide further help to Canadians who are struggling due to the pandemic. Only time will tell. Stay safe everyone.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension

A picture to denote business owner calculating the canada wage subsidy program for their employees

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension was just announced today by the prime minister this morning. The news is definitely a relief for the many businesses struggling to stay afloat during this pandemic. How long is the extension for and when does the program end? See below:

What is the Canada Emergency Wage subsidy? Quick Review

Here’s a quick summary from a CBC article today: “The program covers 75 per cent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for workers at eligible companies and non-profits affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Originally the program went from March 15, 2020 to August 29, 2020. This meant that an employer could collect a 75% wage subsidy on an employee’s wages up to 24 weeks as per the government’s website. For more details on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program, please look at my original article regarding this.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension

As mentioned earlier, the prime minister announced that the government will be extending the program until December 2020. The exact weeks extension and when you can apply for the extension was not announced as of yet. Once further details are given, we will update these details.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, many small businesses will welcome the extension of the program as the economy recovery from the pandemic is slow. Also, with uncertainties surrounding covid-19 such as a potential second wave, many businesses are worried about their future. And any help during this unstable time is good help for sure. Stay safe!

PC Express Grocery Pick-up During Covid-19 Review

grocery store to denote using PC Express during Covid-19

PC Express grocery pick-up during Covid-19, sounds like an interesting idea. Because right now we live in a world of social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. With PC Express, you do not even have to enter the grocery store. All you do is place your order for groceries online, pick an available pick up date and go to one of the designated parking spots to pick up your groceries. You don’t even have to get out of your care as they will even load your groceries into your trunk if you pop it open for them. Sounds like an awesome way to do your grocery shopping during the pandemic. My wife and I thought we’d give it a try.

PC Express Grocery Pick-Up During Covid-19 – Expect Delays

Last weekend my wife placed our order online to PC Express and as expected pick up times were filling up fast. We expected this as we assumed many would try this. However, there was one slot available – a pick up time of Wednesday at 6 pm and we took it.

A few days later, on Tuesday Superstore sent us an email that our order could be delayed a day or more and they would contact us once our order was ready. We had no problem with this as we knew they would be busy and actually appreciated the email letting us know. We weren’t in a rush to get the groceries. Two days later on Thursday we got another email message stating that our order was ready to be picked up. I got ready and went to Superstore to get our groceries.

PC Express Grocery Pick-Up During Covid-19 – Things Get a Bit Chaotic

As I got to Superstore the first thing I noticed was that the place was packed with cars! I think the sunny day was partly to blame for this. As I drove to the PC Express stalls (they had 8 marked stalls), I noticed all of them were filled with cars, all with their trunks open waiting for their groceries. I also noticed over a dozen other cars around these stalls with their trunks open waiting to pick up groceries. Immediately I thought, “Houston, we might have a problem”.

I found a parking stall as close as I could to the PC Express ones and then called the phone number that had been given to me in the email. As soon as I finished dialing the number, I immediately was given the message, “the phone call you attempted has failed”. That was weird, so I tried to call again a few more times and got the same message. I then called my wife at home and asked her to call from her end. She could not get through as she got a busy signal. We both kept trying. My wife finally got through and was told to leave a number to be contacted later. She did and as soon as she did she got cut off. Not knowing what to do, I decided to go in the store.

PC Express Grocery Pick-Up During Covid-19 – Things Get a Bit Unsafe

I went to customer service and was directed to the PC Express area, which were by the check out aisles. As I got to the area, there were grocery carts full of food everywhere and I assumed that these were all the pending PC Express orders. By these carts was the PC Express area. It was a small room about the size of a small bedroom. There was a large fridge and groceries in there along with about four people working feverishly in it. All of them looked completely overwhelmed. I felt for them. Unfortunately, only one person had a mask on. The rest did not. Also, they were working pretty much shoulder to shoulder, so social distancing was not being practiced. But how could it be? The room was way too small for it.

I managed to talk to one of the workers and tried to keep my distance (fortunately I was wearing a mask, googles and gloves) and explain my situation. He was at least wearing gloves. He took my license plate number and make of my car and told me to pop my trunk and expect a long wait. I went back to my car and waited.

After a Long Wait, Go into the store again

I waited for an hour in the car and tried the number a few more times but to no avail. So I decided to go back in again to check the status of my order. As I got to the PC Express area there were still a lot of carts with food parked. There were also a few people lined up to talk to PC Express and I lined up behind them trying to keep my distance between people. One person beside me had a mask on which gave me a little relief.

However, we were lined up in the area where people exit the check out aisles. Also, the PC Express carts with food were also in the area and all of a sudden, things were very congested. There was no chance of practicing safe social distancing, as we were constantly moving to avoid people leaving with their groceries. It was a bit unnerving.

No End In Sight

As I got closer to the front of the line, the person in front of me said that her original pick up date had been Tuesday. At that point, I realized that I might have a long wait yet. When it was my turn to talk to the employee , she said that there were 7 or 8 orders ahead of me and that once they got to me that they would then make my order. I thought that was weird as the email they sent me said that my order was ready. At this point I started to feel a bit angry.

I asked if could just take my order myself. She said that I would have to wait and when I asked how long – she said she could not tell me. She had no idea how long it would take. I tried to explain to her that I’d been there an hour ago asking the same questions. She said she was just there helping out. No further help was provided.

Time to Flee!

I then realized “This is not right!” Here I am talking to this poor stressed out lady who is trying to help. She’s not wearing a mask and has no gloves on. We are only standing three feet apart. The people in the PC Express department behind her weren’t wearing protective wear, and were way too close and are touching people’s grocery orders. The people beside me were way too close and the people going by us wee way too close. Not good!! We were all in danger.

Why would Superstore overbook their pick up Service so much? Why would they not provide their employees with protective wear? And why did we have to line up in a main exit for customers?

I realized right there and then that I had to leave and protect myself and my wife at home, as staying there longer increased my danger of getting infected. I said to the lady to cancel my order immediately and I left as quickly as I could and went home. When I got home, I immediately took off the clothes I was wearing put them in the storage room (our sort of decontamination zone) and took a shower and calmed myself down.

Conclusion

I would not use PC Express grocery pick-up during Covid-19. It is way too risky. They don’t have enough space, manpower, or organization to make this work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. You would be safer just going into Superstore and shopping yourself. Or even safer, just go somewhere else to shop. (A place that is smaller and far less busy.) I do have a friend who says the service is great but she shops at a different location than the one I went to. I was pretty freaked out by the experience.

Also, yesterday the news reported that the location I went to has a case of Covid-19 with one of their employees. The employee hasn’t been to work since April 12th but I wasn’t surprised in the least based on my experience. I really hope that Superstore improves their PC Express service – in particular at this location. Because people’s health and lives are at risk. However, I am not going to take the chance to find out. Instead I will be shopping somewhere else where I feel safer. Stay safe everyone.